Bad sign of a limited democratic election to come, the C.P.A. decided to bar Al Sadr from joining in the elections as a candidate. Which is really stupid if you think about it, because we had a great opportunity to get his people in line with our goal of democracy, but instead they’re going to be against the elections and trying to kill other candidates. The Guardian has the report in “US bans cleric from Iraq elections”:
Paul Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, signed an order stating that, with immediate effect, members of illegal militias “will be barred from holding political office for three years after leaving their illegal organisation”.
The ban on the militia members taking part in political life is a gamble, since it carries the risk that it will increase Mr Sadr’s popularity and undermine the new government’s search for democratic credibility in the eyes of the sceptical Iraqi public
What if the French (who had been helping us) had stepped in when we were drafting our Constitution after the American revolution and said that members of the militia — namely one General George Washington — could not hold office. Do you think that would have been greeted with enthusiasm?
US bans cleric from Iraq elections [Guardian]